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Reflections on China

“Ripples” Multi Media Monoprint on Canvas, 30”x40”, 2007, Sold

“Reflections on China” is a series of mixed media prints that explore issues around China’s fast growth and changing position in the world. We have grown accustomed to seeing daily stories about China in the media, and have consequently been forming opinions – positive and negative – about the impact that such development may have – or will have – on western society, and more specifically, on our personal lifestyle.

Between 2005 and 2015, I have had the priviledge of being invited to China five times, each visit bringing new and unexpected light on the preconceptions I had of the country. Walking around is a visual feast – it is often overwhelming. A multitude of colorful signs positioned horizontally and vertically between buildings; crowded streets; lanterns; street vendors; cars, buses, bicycles, mopeds: all honking; ancient housing; modern complexes; destruction and construction sites; tiny family businesses; huge international corporations; the whole thing accompanied by an infinity of unfamiliar smells and sounds. All at once side by side the very rich the very poor the very old the very modern repression freedom everything. However, my fondness for China has its roots in the people, whom I find to be delightful, warm, funny, and caring.

After my first two trips to China, I became focused on developing a new visual vocabulary to express the richness and the paradoxes that I had witnessed. I wanted to bring the intensity of my experience into each print by building layers upon layers of diverse imagery. Concurrently I became immersed in studying Mandarin and furthering my budding understanding of that fascinating culture. The choice to incorporate Chinese characters became obvious as I discovered in me a love for the way Chinese words are conceived. Words don’t just translate from English into Chinese. Characters often have deep poetic meanings that go far beyond the actual word. A good example of that is 平(Ping): the English word is “Peace” but its definition is “the balance between opposing forces – equilibrium”. Additionally, each character is built by bringing together related concepts, so it is explained that in “Ping”, we see a bamboo stem, balanced on each side by a single tongue of fire. I chose each character very carefully, making sure that it added to the meaning of my artwork.

All “Ripples” prints are 30″x40″ print collages. Price is $2400 each, however only one is still available. Other related pieces vary in price and size. Please contact Dionne for availability.